Brexit renegotiation given blessing by Merkel says Hunt – Germany eager ‘to solve problem’


The Foreign Secretary has said German Chancellor Angela Merkel is willing to reopen Brexit negations on behalf of the EU in an attempt to generate a revised deal for a post-Brexit Britain. Mr Hunt told Sky News during an extensive one hour interview: “When you talk to those people – they also say that if a new prime minister comes forward with new proposals that are sensible of course they will look at the package.” He added: “I have had a conversation with Angela Merkel. She said of course we will look at any proposals made by the new UK prime minister, because she wants to solve this problem.”

Mr Hunt made the claim while being quizzed by host Kay Burley.

Ms Burley savaged him for “selling a nightmare” whilst Tory leadership rival Boris Johnson was selling “a dream”, she said.

Mr Hunt claimed: “I’d say that if you look at what both Boris and I are saying on no deal, it’s actually pretty similar. We’re both saying that we don’t want it but if it’s the only way to deliver Brexit we’d do it.

“The difference is: who is the person who is most likely to get a deal before we get to that point so we don’t have to make that very, very difficult decision?”

Ms Burley replied: “The difference is that you’re selling a nightmare, from what you were saying today.

“Boris is selling a dream.”

The EU has repeatedly said it will not renegotiate Britain’s withdrawal deal reached with Mrs May, which has been rejected by Parliament three times.

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Just two weeks ago French minister Amélie de Montchalin insisted there was no hope in hell the Brexit divorce bill would ever be opened.

She also said without a “new political line” in the UK, Britain should expect to leave without a deal on October 31, the third an final deadline.

Speaking on behalf of the EU27, she said: “We are now waiting for clarification from the UK side.

“We consider it is up to Britain to decide how it wants to proceed. The exit agreement was not negotiated against the British; negotiators on both sides tried, painstakingly, to find the best solution for all concerned.”

Both Conservative Party leadership candidates Mr Hunt and Boris Johnson have said they will seek a renegotiation with Brussels should they be granted the role of prime minister.

Mr Johnson said he would order European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to London as his first act as prime minister.

The move itself is a stark contrast to Mrs May who regularly made last-minute flights to Brussels win a desperate attempt to persuade the trade bloc to agree to her terms.

Mr Juncker famously boasted of only ever visiting London twice since the June 2016 Brexit vote.



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